Greek computer programmer, Petros Kaloupis, has created the first social media network for people with disabilities such as blindness, deafness or people who have problems with mobility. The first “Facebook” for people suffering from disabilities – known as Disabledbook – offers disabled people a social outlet to express themselves.
“It is easy to navigate, just like Facebook,” says Kaloupis. “You create a profile, later start uploading photographs, videos of interest and can even send messages to each other, press likes, post your views, interests and concerns.”
The platform recognizes the user’s disability and gives them a chance to “read” the messages if they are blind or easily use the system if they have disability problems. One can use the mouse either through leg movements or by activating the camera of the computer using head movements.
The idea for the creation of the platform came six months ago when Kaloupis received an e-mail from a disabled friend who stated the desire for the creation of a Facebook for disabled people. “Because I also have a disability problem, I created a platform from my home, in order to cover the need for communication and extroversion that people with disabilities have when we are isolated and outcast.”
Disabledbook so far has more than 100,000 users and operates in a number of languages, such as Greek, English, French and is currently in the process of adding Italian and Spanish. It offers important information regarding disabilities in numerous sectors such as health, education, tourism, hospitality and entertainment.
The platform isn’t just for people with disabilities as anyone can join. Those who are interested in issues concerning disabilities can also find out more about these and connect with others. Kaloupis hopes that membership of the site created using top technology will grow to millions.
“Our goal is to create active citizens that can help us build a healthy society in regards to disabilities, autonomy and free access to information, services and the job market,” says Kaloupi.